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History and Architecture in Edinburgh’s Dean Village

A walking audio tour

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On this self-guided walking audio tour in Edinburgh’s picturesque Dean Village, you will chart the fate of the area from industrious prosperity to complete disrepute, before it became the most desirable residential district in Edinburgh.

The tour will take you around the old milling village that still contains traces of its Baronial legacy. You’ll see the old bridge, the tollbooth, the mill and the weir, which were all formerly controlled by the Incorporation of Baxters (bakers).

The narrator will also show you the easy-to-miss details on buildings, and share old maps and drawings as you walk the lush green banks of the Water of Leith. 

Map of Edinburgh Dean Village audio tour
* The Dean Cemetery that the tour passes through closes at 5pm in summer and dusk in winter, 2PM during the pandemic, so it is best to start this tour in the morning or just after lunchtime. The cemetery does not allow dogs.
Map of Edinburgh Dean Village audio tour

* The Dean Cemetery that the tour passes through closes at 5pm in summer and dusk in winter, 2PM during the pandemic, so it is best to start this tour in the morning or just after lunchtime. The cemetery does not allow dogs.

History and Architecture
in Edinburgh’s Dean Village

“We found ourselves applying our new knowledge of architectural features for the remainder of our trip!”

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Highlights

Tom, Edinburgh
This was an amazing tour. I learned so much and Olga's pace and style was perfect. All of her stories are interesting and insightful. The map works very well too. 100% recommend.
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Ruth, Edinburgh
Absolutely fantastic. Cannot say enough good things about this tour and Olga as a narrator. It’s clear she has an obscene amount of architectural and historical knowledge and she pieces it together so clearly.
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Babette, California
We learned so much about the city and explored an area most guidebooks ignore. A great tour for those wanting to go deeper into the history and architecture of Edinburgh and get away from the typical tourist areas.
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Beth, Edinburgh
Although I have been an Edinburgh resident for over thirty years and had even walked along much of the route, I found this tour gave me a great new insight to the buildings, ruins and sights along the way.
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Oliver, Hebden Bridge
Very impressed with the quality of this walk. Lots of intriguing information, with detail it would be hard to find out for yourself. Really put Dean Village into a fascinating historical and architectural context. We thought we knew the city moderately well, but this was time very well spent. Ace!
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Nicholas, Florida
Despite the fact that it rained, I loved the tour. Even though I had been to Edinburgh 4 times before, I had never been to Dean Village - it is well worth a visit, and I highly recommend this walking tour.
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Alasdair, Edinburgh
I've lived in the area for 10 years but learned more about the Dean Village on this tour than in the previous 10 years on my own.
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How audio tours work

When you purchase directly from us, you donate £1 from every tour to the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings.

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More about the audio tour in Edinburgh Dean Village

Along the way, we’ll answer questions like:

  • Where are the signs of Dean Village’s former industrial activity?
  • Which Scottish castle is the Well Court design based on?
  • Why did the Lord Provost pay for the Dean Bridge out of his own pocket?
  • Where does the name “St Bernard’s Well” come from?
Romantic Landscapes

The walk will start in Stockbridge market, with an introduction of the history of villages around medieval Edinburgh. 

You will then stroll along the Water of Leith while trying to spot abundant local wildlife. Here your narrator will analyse the origins of Alexander Nasmith’s ideas and the embodiment of a Claudian landscape that is the site of St Bernard’s Well.

Having acquainted yourself with the influences of 1750s grand tours, you will approach the magnificent Dean bridge, Thomas Telford’s structure to connect Dean Estate to the New Town.

In the heart of Dean Village

You will then arrive right to the heart of Dean Village, the Baxter’s guild’s settlement that still contains the old bridge, a tollbooth, a mill, and a weir. 

Here the role of flour milling, its heyday, and eventual demise will be discussed. Using existing buildings as examples, your narrator will introduce you to the wider subject of Scottish Baronial architecture.

Victorian Social Housing

As you navigate the lanes of Dean Village, you will come upon the red sandstone building of Well Court, Victorian social housing funded by a local philanthropist and the owner of the Scotsman Newspaper.

On the way to the galleries, the tour will take you through a fashionable 19th century cemetery and familiarise you with a few influential figures buried there.

Philanthropic tradition

Thomas Hamilton’s orphanage turned gallery will present a great opportunity to discuss Edinburgh philanthropy traditions.

The tour will end with a perfect shot from the landform sculpture by Charles Jencks facing a beautiful example of stark Greek Revival architecture.

book-4

More about the audio tour in Edinburgh Dean Village

Along the way, we’ll answer questions like:

  • Where are the signs of Dean Village’s former industrial activity?
  • Which Scottish castle is the Well Court design based on?
  • Why did the Lord Provost pay for the Dean Bridge out of his own pocket?
  • Where does the name “St Bernard’s Well” come from?
Romantic Landscapes

The walk will start in Stockbridge market, with an introduction of the history of villages around medieval Edinburgh. 

You will then stroll along the Water of Leith while trying to spot abundant local wildlife. Here your narrator will analyse the origins of Alexander Nasmith’s ideas and the embodiment of a Claudian landscape that is the site of St Bernard’s Well.

Having acquainted yourself with the influences of 1750s grand tours, you will approach the magnificent Dean bridge, Thomas Telford’s structure to connect Dean Estate to the New Town.

In the heart of Dean Village

You will then arrive right to the heart of Dean Village, the Baxter’s guild’s settlement that still contains the old bridge, tollbooth, a mill, and a weir. 

Here the role of flour milling, its heyday, and eventual demise will be discussed. Using existing buildings as examples, your narrator will introduce you to the wider subject of Scottish Baronial architecture.

Victorian Social Housing

As you navigate the lanes of Dean Village, you will come upon the red sandstone building of Well Court, Victorian social housing funded by a local philanthropist and the owner of the Scotsman Newspaper.

On the way to the galleries, the tour will take you through a fashionable 19th century cemetery and familiarise you with a few influential figures buried there.

Philanthropic tradition

Thomas Hamilton’s orphanage turned gallery will present a great opportunity to discuss Edinburgh philanthropy traditions.

The tour will end with a perfect shot from the landform sculpture by Charles Jencks facing a beautiful example of stark Greek Revival architecture.

loupe-3

Frequently asked questions

Once purchased, Edinburgh audio tours are not refundable. However, your ticket will be valid indefinitely, so you can take the tour at any date, gift it to someone else, or enjoy a virtual tour.

Absolutely, if you are curious about cities and culture, an architecture tour will reveal lots of insights about Edinburgh. 

The audio tour is available in English. Guided tours for private groups are also available in French.

Yes, except Dean Village where the audio tour passes through a cemetery. 

On most audio tours of Edinburgh, we climb from 20 to a 100 steps. Our flattest walking audio tour is in the New Town.

Yes, but for the optimal experience and understanding of the content we recommend following a preset order. 

After you paid for the tour, you will receive an activation code by email, along with detailed instructions.

To go out and do the tour, all you need is a free audio tour VoiceMap app for iPhones and Android devices. Install it on your smartphone via Apple AppStore or Google Play’s store.

Yes, we offer private walking tours guided by a local architect, for groups of up to 30 people. 

loupe-3

Frequently asked questions

Once purchased, Edinburgh audio tours are not refundable. However, your ticket will be valid indefinitely, so you can take the tour at any date, gift it to someone else, or enjoy a virtual tour.

Absolutely, if you are curious about cities and culture, an architecture tour will reveal lots of insights about Edinburgh. 

The audio tour is available in English. Guided tours for private groups are also available in French.

Yes, except Dean Village where the audio tour passes through a cemetery. 

On most audio tours of Edinburgh, we climb from 20 to a 100 steps. Our flattest walking audio tour is in the New Town.

Yes, but for the optimal experience and understanding of the content we recommend following a preset order. 

After you paid for the tour, you will receive an activation code by email, along with detailed instructions.

To go out and do the tour, all you need is a free audio tour VoiceMap app for iPhones and Android devices. Install it on your smartphone via Apple AppStore or Google Play’s store.

Yes, we offer private walking tours guided by a local architect, for groups of up to 30 people.